UPDATE 1-Abu Dhabi funds are investing $ 150 mln in the Telegram messaging app

(Writing through, adding details)

DUBAI, March 23 (Reuters) – State fund Abu Dhabi Mubadala Investment Co. and Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, which is jointly owned by Mubadala, said on Tuesday that they had raised $ 150 million in the Telegram messaging app.

Mubadala invested $ 75 million in five-year bonds, Telegram’s pre-emptive public offering (IPO), while Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners invested another $ 75 million.

“Telegram’s customer base has reached a critical mass that is placing it among global tech giants,” Mubadala Faris chief executive Sohail Faris al-Mazrui said in a statement.

“Telegram is well placed for an inclusive space that will transform it into a leading global technology company. ”

Telegram, along with Signal messaging app, has seen an increase in users this year amid privacy concerns with more competitive WhatsApp-owned Facebook.

Launched in 2013, Telegram has 500 million monthly users, according to Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners.

Telegram, which already has its headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, will open an office in Abu Dhabi following the new investment, Mubadala said.

Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners is a Mubadala joint venture with US investment firm Falcon Edge Capital.

Mubadala, which manages more than $ 230 billion in assets, is the UAE’s second largest state investor after the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Both have invested in technology, with Mubadala contributing $ 15 billion to SoftBank’s $ 100 billion Vision Fund in 2017.

Mubadala last year bought a 1.85% stake in Reliance Industries ’digital unit, Jio Platforms, for $ 1.2 billion. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, Editing by Louise Heavens and Alexander Smith)